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help on some dso's


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hi all.

im gonna go for a star party in feb.im trying to make a list of dso to observe. ive completed most of the messier objects except pisces. naked eyed limiting mag is 6.

scope to be used is a 150/1200 f7.5 skywatcher reflecter and a c6 reflector.

some objects ive considered are

1-NGC 4565.

2-sunflower and blackeye.

3-m85.i seem to get lost in virgo.

4-whale and hockeystick and vacume cleaner galaxy

can youll give me some tips and sketches of these objects and some more dso options to help me make the best of my once in a month serious sky observation.

thank you

clear skies!


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You don't have to shy away from the Virgo cluster. Try to find Markarian's Chain, and you'll be amazed!

To get there: On your star map, e.g. the Pocket Sky Atlas, start from the Lion's tail. Draw a line from Theta Leonis (Chertan) to Beta (Denebola) and follow this line for about 7° (roughly the distance Chertan-Denebola; the field of a small finderscope) to the east (left). You'll arrive at the star 6 Coma Berenices, which forms together with four nearby stars a slightly crooked letter "T", which can easily be spotted with bins and a RACI finder. I call it the "Entry-T". The horizontal part of the "T" is framed by the galaxies M 98 and M 100, the vertical  crooked part has M 99 at it's western side. All three galaxies should be easily visible in your 6". So, at the scope, start from there.

When you've got the orientation, follow the vertical part of the "Entry-T" for about three degrees downward (roughly SE). The two main galaxies of Markarian's Chain,  M 84 and M 86 will, at low power, come together into view; with 8.8 mag ( M 84) and 9.0 mag (M 86) they are the brightest members of the Chain. The other members are located eastward (4435/4438; 4461; 4473; 4477; 4459; M 88).

31.1.2017: I have added the picture of the "Entry-T" below.

In my opinion, it's the most reliable way to get to the center of the Virgo cluster, because you start from a well known constellation and have with the "Entry-T" a conspicuous landmark.

You'll often return to the spectacular sight of Markarian's Chain!

Have fun with your friends, and Clear Skies!



Edited by Nyctimene
Picture added
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